A house should never be a prison.

Why should people who have a disability be forced into accommodation that does not suit their needs that allow independence and dignity?

Many people who live with a disability may have to rely on council housing because it can be harder for us to find sufficiently paid jobs or any job at all.

For people like myself who do have a disability but are capable of working it can be a tough and inconvenient position to find ourselves in. Finding jobs that suites our personality but is also doable due to our disability can be tough.

I’m no computer wiz and I hate the idea of working in an office or factory from 9 – 5. Just because I have a visual impairment I shouldn’t have to feel like I need to work in an office where there would be ‘easy’ accommodations or access to work. Why should I have to settle for something that won’t nourish my soul just because I have a disability? I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to work with people where no two days are exactly the same.

This situation people with a disability to often find themselves in can lead to periods of time without structured work as the only option may be benefits. This can then lead to extra support from the local council in the form of council housing.

As a rule, I’m not saying that council housing is a bad thing at all. Many council houses can be very sturdy places that can become a very suitable home for some. No, my gripe is that council housing isn’t generally built for people with disabilities.

Spaces that aren’t designed with accessibility in mind can be demoralising, undignified and inhumane. People who have no other choice but to move into a building that does not suit their needs can have a severe impact on one’s emotional, mental and overall physical wellbeing. It can only be a huge strain on every aspect of life to try and navigate an environment, that is supposed to be your home, that does not allow you to move around with ease and comfort because it restricts your ability to access it in the correct manner.

No one should ever feel imprisoned in a space that doesn’t feel like a home or a space they can feel proud of and comfortable in. It seems to me that people are placed in the most appropriate place available within the best time frame possible without much thought to the long-term needs of the individual.

It just seems insane that a potentially vulnerable community of people aren’t being catered for in this fast passed world we live in now. We live in one of the most developed nations in the world and yet a whole community of people are being left behind because of the number crunching that the government has been forced to do in recent times.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it’s completely the government’s fault at all. I’m not stupid. I know we live in an age where money is tight and has to be spent well but why can’t money be set aside to help properly aid people to live in truly accessible accommodation that can assist in their independence, overall health and potentially aid the ability to truly look for appropriate work?

It’s just logical sense that you invest in people then the general rule is they will inevitably be able to provide for themselves in the long run and help boost the economy. Now I understand that housing is just a small part of a much wider picture. However, if people are able to have access to proper housing that meets their needs they will be able to direct their attention more greatly to other goals other than worrying about how hard it would be just to live in a space that restricts their potential so badly.

So all in all? Invest in people and you will be investing in not only their future but the future of a community and the wider population.

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I’m not here to make you feel better or reinforce your misconceptions.

I’m not here to make you feel better about yourself, your life or your circumstances. I’m here to live the life that I want, the way that I feel comfortable and achieve great things.

Yes, my eyesight is shitty because I’m medically blind and I burn a lot easier than you and can’t use digital devices without some sort of accessible software, yes I can’t read the maps on the underground or bus timetables or the menus at restaurants as easily as you, yes I find it more difficult to navigate steps and new environments than you, yes bright lights can be a real eye ache and my eyes get more tired more quickly than yours.

However, my life doesn’t suck balls. I have my own set of challenges that I have to constantly work around. Nonetheless, there will be things that I may be better at than you. I may be better at taekwondo or horse riding or playing the violin than you.

Just because I have a visual impairment doesn’t mean my life is devoid of all meaning, hope, joy, passions, goals and aspirations. My life is just different from yours just like the other 7 billion peoples lives.

The worst thing about being ‘disabled’ is peoples perceptions that we can’t do anything, can’t achieve anything of any real importance or that we constantly need help or pity from able-bodied peers. We do need help to figure out ways of coping with our unique challenges but that does not mean we are completely dependant on others all of the time.

Constant intervention from others, rather than being helpful can be very limiting, frustrating and debilitating. It doesn’t help to build our resilience, independence or ability to create and work with useful strategies that aid us in our lives.

How would you like it if someone constantly wrapped you up in bubble wrap because they thought of you as lesser than themselves and less able to thrive and strive in the wider community? Frustrated right?

We need to work in partnership to develop constructive methods of growing as individuals rather than simply receiving unwanted and unwarranted sympathy from people who think it is such an awful thing to be disabled or misguided help from those who don’t or won’t talk to us about why might actually be useful in achieving and maintaining independence but simply try and palm us off with help that isn’t in any way useful.

The real test of living with a disability is living in a world that isn’t really geared to help or accommodate people with disabilities. We still live in very much a sighted, hearing and mobile world that makes those of us with a lifelong condition feel disabled because we can’t access what able-bodied people can with the same ease if at all.
We may have a medically diagnosed condition but we are socially disabled.

Perceptions about people with a disability or long-term health condition are imposed and impounded by a world that doesn’t seem to have the ability to accept that we have different needs and requirements to access the wider community. These perceptions and stereotypes and misconceptions are only deepened by misrepresentation in the media.

The majority of representation in mainstream commercial media seems to be made up of two different types of people with disabilities. The first seems to be the type of person who can’t do anything, can’t access anything, can’t live a happy, healthy, independent, productive and meaningful life. The second seems to be someone who has achieved something extraordinary or done something that seems amazing because they have a disability.

Just because I have a visual impairment and love taekwondo doesn’t make me extraordinary people. It just means I’m an individual who loves keeping fit in a way that involves me learning how to defend myself in a disciplined manner. I’m not extraordinary because I have a disability and have won medals at dressage events in the past. I’m not extraordinary because I’m disabled and managed to pass my degree with a 2:1 no, that’s extraordinary because I got a 2:1 in my degree and that’s it. I’m not extraordinary because I have a disability and have worked, no it’s extraordinary because I’m one of many young people in the midst of a financial crisis who was able to get a job in the first place.

Yes, my sight has presented me with challenges throughout my life and that will never stop but it doesn’t mean I’m not able to do the things that able-bodied people do at all. I just do them slightly differently. Does that make me an inspiration? No. Does that give you the right to look up to or down on me? Hell to the no, I ain’t got time for that bullshit. Does that mean you have a limited or skewed perception of people with a disability? Most likely. Does that mean you have had very limited contact or actual real-life interactions with living breathing individuals who have a disability? I would say that that is a big screaming yes.

The way you treat someone with a disability can be a real deal breaker for people who live with a disability. Treating us simply based on your own beliefs, thoughts and misconceptions are massively detrimental. Talk to the person like you would anyone else, get to know them for who they are before you start treating them as their disability. Ask appropriate questions instead of just living in your own sheltered world.

Lastly, even if it’s a subconscious thought that you’re not aware of don’t think that you’ve got it so much better than just because you don’t happen to have a disability.

My sexual orientation is not here for your personal judgment or misconceptions

As I have grown up I have definitely become more self-aware. That doesn’t actually mean I’ve always been good at dealing with what I find along the way but it’s always a positive step in the right direction when you discover a new side of yourself that you can slowly but surely work upon being more comfortable with.

Since the age of 14, I’ve always had an inclining to a varying degree that I’m attracted to women, physically, mentally and romantically. When I was around 15 I came out as bi when I was around 17 or 18 I came out as gay. However, it’s not been until recently and I’m talking the past couple of years here that I have come to understand and accept exactly who I am in terms of my sexuality.

I would go as far as to say that I don’t particularly like labels as such. I’m someone who is attracted to both men and women yes so in its very basic form if I were to confine myself to societies labelling I would be bi.

Sexuality is never that simple. We can’t wack a one size fits all label onto every single person because not every single person fits into one tidy label.

Myself, for example, I would never presume to understand or try and explain anyone else’s situation or story. I’m someone who fits very loosely into the definition of Bisexual. I’m not equally attracted to both men and women all of the time. One day, week, month, any given time period really I may like men more but that could easily change in an instance and the next I could swing more towards women.

Despite the fact that I am happy and comfortable with myself and my sexuality many people still seem to hold misguided assumptions about sexuality and gender as a whole.

1. Bisexuality doesn’t exist – seriously so I’m just pretending to get unwanted and stupid attention? I understand that as a straight person who is only sexually, mentally and romanticly attracted to the opposite sex it may seem strange or unnatural to be attracted to the same or both sexes but that doesn’t make it simply CANNOT EXIST.

2. Every woman must be bisexual – where does this thought process even come from. It literally makes zero sense. Just because women are, generally speaking, better at expressing and showing emotions doesn’t mean that instantly makes them romantically or physically attracted to every other woman that they meet. It’s the same for guys. Just because two guys have a really close friendship or bond doesn’t automatically mean they are bi or gay. Relationships are funny and complicated things but sharing a bond with someone doesn’t make you physically or romantically attracted to that person.

3. Bi people want threesomes all the time – why do people automatically assume that anyone who is part of the LGBT community is solely obsessed with having as much sex with as many people as possible? Yes, there are people who love and enjoy sex more than others and yes some people may enjoy partaking in threesomes but that has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. It’s simply their way of expressing their bassist of animal pleasures regardless of whether they are straight or not. Sexual orientation and sexual expression are not the same thing people. No matter who you are, you’re personality, gender sexual orientation, age, (dis)ability, culture, race or social background sex is a part of normal animal behaviour. It’s the person, not the gender or sexual orientation is all I’m trying to say.

4. Bi people are polyamorous/scared of commitment – again another stupidly misguided, sweeping and stereotypical assumption. My sexual orientation does not stop me from wanting and desiring to be in a long-term committed relationship with the one person who I love and loves me above anyone else simply for being me and existing. Each person is different. Some people may want to be in a polyamorous relationship and if that’s what makes them happy and isn’t hurting anyone emotionally or physically then that’s absolutely great and fine for them. However, this identity is not linked to sexual orientation. Yes, some people in the LGBT community may also be polyamorous but just as there is gay lesbian bi trans queer gender fluid people who are polyamorous there are also straight cis people who are polyamorous. This is another aspect of human nature that is not intrinsically linked to sexuality. The majority of people want to be that special person for someone else, two halves of one whole, yin and yang and all that. So assuming that anyone who’s part of the LGBT community is afraid of commitment is totally misguided and disregarding the basic principles of human nature, behaviour and psychology.

5. Bisexual people are sexually greedy – another stupidly sweeping and stereotypical face value judgment? Seriously? Yes, there are some people who may be sexually greedy or want lots of different partners but being attracted to both genders doesn’t mean that I want to have sex with every single person on the planet. There will be people who enjoy having a lot of sex and a lot of different types of sex and sometimes different people can give them what they want. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who are asexual, they may have little to no sexual attraction to others or desire to have sex at all. Assuming that someone who is bi automatically wants to have sex with everyone is disregarding the other 99% of their personality and psychological make-up. I’m someone who wants to have sex with someone that I’m in a committed relationship with and only have sex with that one person. It doesn’t matter if they are female or male or what they identify with gender-wise. If I love that person and they love me then I know I’ll be happy and content with that one person.

Anywho this has been five misconceptions about bi, fluid, polysexual, omnisexual, pansexual, and queer misconceptions that can be very untrue, hurtful and stereotypical. So the next time you talk to someone who identifies themselves under any of these ‘labels’ (ugh literally hate labels so much I wish we could live in a world where sexuality wasn’t like a sticker on a food packet), try and avoid these stereotypes.

Education for children with SEN or disabilities is taking a nose dive into the toilet.

Well well well. I can’t say that I’m surprised but it doesn’t mean that I’m not enraged by the topic of this article that I read. The Independent recently reported that SEN students in schools lose out as funding cuts mean schools are reaching a breaking point.

Many a time I have spoken or mentioned how difficult I found going through mainstream education during my secondary school years because of the lack of understanding around disability and specifically because I can only speak from my own personal experiences, visual impairments. Mainstream educators don’t appreciate that visual impairment is a spectrum condition just like ASD (Autism spectrum disorder). Not every child/young person will have exactly the same level of sight and not every individual will have the exact same style of learning. I should also mention that NO CHILD WITH A DISABILITY OF ANY SORTS likes to be told what is best for them because an adult thinks it might work.

Anyway back to the article. Members of the National Education Union have suggested that children with social and/or emotional issues are at risk of receiving little to no education, also that children with disabilities or specific Special educational needs are most likely not getting the support that they need.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

Now I left mainstream education back in the summer of 2007 once I had finished my GCSE’s. I can tell you, that I personally found the whole experience very lacklustre. I was never given the right materials in the right format in an appropriate time frame. I was always made to feel odd and out of place because of my disability and I never felt that I was particularly well listened to at all during the 7 years I was in mainstream schooling. This made me a bit bullyshy at times and, in my case, made me even less inclined to want to learn.

According to a survey in which 900 teachers took part, a whopping 54% said that they ‘have seen a reduction in teaching assistant support – affecting SEND provision at their school.’ This is an astonishing percentage and one that I find horrific because even in my day I found that I was often left without a teaching assistant to support me in lessons because another child needed them more or there was not enough staff in on a particular day.

This is truly terrifying because it means that a. pupils cannot build a proper working relationship with one particular TA where both parties know how each other work best and can get the best possible outcomes and b. the child is left in a really shitty situation because they are not able to access their learning environment or materials effectively and so their overall learning and the overall outcome is diminished even more greatly then it possibly was before.

This is one of the most disgusting things that were reported, in my opinion anyway. According to a poll of parents, nearly a quarter of children with disabilities or SEND are not even in school at all. All this is because of the general funding cuts that the education system is suffering from. However, if people with SEND or long-term disabilities didn’t already have enough to deal with the fact that so many children aren’t in school full time or at all is astounding. A good solid education is one thing that can see a child succeed and reach their full potential as they grow older. The fact that this group of children is so badly affected boils my blood. It’s just adding another straw to the camels back of what can easily be a somewhat bumpy ride for anyone who has a disability.

Mary Bousted who is joint secretary of NEU (National Education Union) stated, ‘If the true measure of a country is how it treats it’s most vulnerable, then this government is failing big time. Children with special needs are being let down.’

I have to say I very much agree with her on this one. Vulnerable children, whether they be from poor social backgrounds or children with a disability or SEN do need extra support throughout their school career and it’s truly shoddy how much they are being let down.

Obviously, it’s safe to say that this wasn’t the government’s true purpose of trying to save money in the difficult economic time we find ourselves in but why do vulnerable children who have the potential to offer so much to society inevitably have to be the ones to suffer from their tight pockets? Each and every child deserves the right to the best possible education out their regardless of their background or disability but it is them that are getting the shitty end of the stick.

Yes, these groups of children do need extra provisions that cost both money and time but that doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to take that right away. Children all need and deserve to learn in a manner that best facilitates their learning methods and by investing that time and money now will benefit not only the children but society as a whole in the future.

In a society where our disabilities already hold us back simply because of the stigma around our inability to carry out even the simplest of tasks in the workplace why run the risk of making things worse by making this new generation of children lacking in a well rounded and thorough education? It’s totally barbaric and inhuman in my opinion.

I would even go as far to say that it’s taking a million steps backwards into the dark ages and almost treating children with disabilities as nothing more than their disability. We have moved on from the time when children with disabilities were abandoned or sent to the poor house or locked in asylums just because they are seen as different or nothing more than a waste of space and a drain on society.

No just NO!!! With the right provisions and education every child can thrive, succeed and even exceed expectations so why deny that possibility?

We still have a way to go in seeing someone as far more than their disability. We are not just one thing that can be labelled and put into a box for your own sense of security and ease of understanding people. We are all individuals who have something positive to contribute to the world in whatever way. With the correct provision that is suitable to our own individual needs, we can do great things that push us to become even better people. Education is one of the most defining things in anyone’s life and that should never be to any lesser standard than would be expected for the ‘average’ child just because we are labelled as special needs.

Equality doesn’t work. Equity is the way forward.

Why should we, as a community, suffer because society deems us as incapable, inadequate or unable to perform even the simplest of tasks? Our ‘disability’ does not make us any of these things. Yes, it means we face different challenges in life but many of them are created by living in a world and society that does not accept and accommodate the needs of all individuals.

Society is still so caught up on this very narrow bracket of what is considered ‘normal’ and if you don’t fit into that then you’re screwed.

Simple, easy to use and find accessibility features such as wide doorways, ramps or lifts for people with mobility issues, hearing loops for those with a hearing impairment, larger and easier to read print for those who have a visual impairment should be common practice but are woefully lacking in today’s society.

All these and a myriad of other issues make accessing the general community a bitch for anyone who has a ‘disability’. Why should we have to suffer, not be able to access things fully and feel like we can’t exceed and succeed because the wider community can’t pull their fingers out of their arses and realize that not every individual is the same and not every person with a ‘disability’ has the same issues.

It’s all well and good saying that a building or website or whatever else is accessible but it’s not always accessible to every individual. Every individual with a ‘disability’ is different and has different requirements for what will help them be successful in life.

It’s time we stopped talking about equality and focused more on equity. I have a visual impairment and therefore can only talk about and come from my own personal experiences. Not every person with a visual impairment or is blind has the same level of sight or sight loss. So why should we be lumped into one box and treated the same?

My sight may be drastically different from the next person who has exactly the same condition as me. It’s unfair and rather debilitating to be treated equally to someone has the same ‘disability’ as me. My needs and requirements that will see me succeed and live the most independent life possible won’t be the same as the next person with a visual impairment so why do people still think that a one size fits all approach is appropriate? No that is what can hold many people back.

We don’t all find the same techniques or aids appropriate or helpful. We all have our own way of moving forward in an appropriate manner that suits us. It’s about working with the individual to find out what is the most appropriate and comfortable way to help them.

Storytime begins here … yay:
When I was in mainstream secondary school I was given a whole host of help that was completely inappropriate to my needs. For example, I was always made to sit at the front of the class and was constantly asked what coloured pen I could read on the whiteboard. This was completely inappropriate because even sitting at the front of the class I could not see the whiteboard.
The number of times the school thought it appropriate to just blow up a page from a textbook on the photocopier was ridiculous. This made trying to read the grainy, often fuzzy page really difficult. It was more of a hindrance than a help because more often then not half the page would be eligible because of the grayscale that covered up half the words. It also meant that I was lugging around massive amounts of paper and had difficulty trying to order them sometimes.
I was also given a note taker for classes. Helpful you might ask? not really more often than not I couldn’t even read their handwriting so what was the actual point in that? All these accommodations were the school’s idea of giving me an equal opportunity to succeed in my academic life. However, I think it did the exact opposite more often than not.

As someone with a visual impairment, it is massively important to get work in a format that is appropriate and EASILY readable. I never got that in mainstream schooling. They may have treated me with their idea of equality but it was not appropriate. They often tried to tell me what would work for me and bearly ever took into consideration what I wanted or needed so they did not treat me with true equity. As a result, I became very disillusioned with education and didn’t do as well as I could have done in my GCSE years. I mean I’m not gonna lie I managed to pass all the GCSE’s that I did do I even managed to get a double B in my English GCSE but that’s not the point. If I had been listened to instead of dictated to by adults who thought they knew what was best for me I could have done a hell of a lot better.

This all comes down to a horrible lack of education about the diverse differences in disability even within each different type of disability. I can’t strain enough how important it is to work with the individual person to figure out what works and doesn’t work for them. No one likes being told what they can and must use to help aid them in life. So why is it acceptable to say that something is accessible or falls under equality laws when it is ultimately detrimental to more people then it is supposedly helping?

There needs to be a massive change in the way society perceives disability in order to become more accessible and accepting of all people and one way in which this can begin is creating a positive and diverse outlook on disability within the media as a whole.

As we all know media has a massive influence on peoples thoughts and opinions so why not do everything in its power to spin disability in a positive light? Now I’m not talking about calling us all inspirational for being able to leave our front doors because that is complete and utter bullshit. No, I’m talking about making people aware that we are normal people living normal lives that deserve to be treated like normal people. Yes, we need certain accommodations to help succeed and reach our full potential but that should become a normal part of everyday life for everyone disabled or not.

It shouldn’t be a scary, invasive or difficult thing to achieve. It’s societies lack of understanding, willingness to change and horrible misconceptions and miseducation that leads to so much red tape and difficulties for those of us who don’t fit into a perfect, neat little box of normality.

Well, all I can say to that is we are all normal as societies idealogical and stupid thought process of what is normal doesn’t actually exist. We are all our own normal and shouldn’t have to be something different to fit into a horribly narrow ideal. We deserve respect and the proper aid that we need to be our true authentic selves.

Stand up to discrimination!

I recently read an article about the struggles disabled fans have, accessing live music events. According to the article a whopping 82% of disabled live music goers, according to a report carried out by Attitude is Everything, have difficulty booking tickets to see their favourite artists live.

This does not surprise me in the least. Limited accessibility tickets and long and convoluted booking systems, whether it is by phone or online means many people with a disability may miss out on an unmissable experience.

Not only this but, untrained staff and poor understanding of the wide spectrum of disabilities means many people don’t have the exact experience they may have expected when booking expensive tickets.

Back in January of this year a friend and I travelled to Glasgow to see Paramore at the SSE Hydro. We both have severe visual impairments and had luckily managed to get two accessible seating tickets. However, Accessible seating means sitting very far back in spaces that could have been better used by others with mobility issues.

Therefore it was a loose loose situation. We were so far back that we couldn’t actually see the band properly and two people potentially couldn’t go and see the band because we had those tickets.

All in all, every aspect of accessibility and the whole booking process needs to be revamped.

It’s unfair for people with a sensory impairment to be lumped into the same category as those with a mobility issue. Those of us with a sensory impairment need to be closer to the stage to fully see or have a better chance of actually hearing the band and accessible seating needs to be saved for those with a disability that affects mobility.

Now, this may sound a bit discriminatory but in all fairness, it’s the truth. Equality can only go so far. The term Equity is a much better word that needs to be thrown into the mix. So what do they mean and what’s the difference?

Equality means treating everyone the same and equity, in this instance means giving each individual what they need to succeed. Not everyone with a disability has the exact same needs. Therefore it stands to reason that we shouldn’t be aiming for equality but aiming for equity.

Take my experience of seeing Paramore. My friend and I were treated with equality because we had accessible seating but that was to our disadvantage because we did not get a good view of the band. If we had managed to get standing tickets and been shown to the front by standards we would have been treated with Equity because we would have been given the specific help that met our specific needs.

So when you hear arena’s or festivals talking about accessibility they are coming from an Equality standpoint because it is easier to set things up in this respect. I can understand that in short amounts of time with all the organisation that goes on in setting up a big live music event it can be easier to come from this standpoint.

However, it is to the detriment of many many people who have a disability and want to attend a live event. Equality for the disabled community is nothing more than society trying to show that it is being considerate of the needs of others ‘less fortunate than themselves’.

Why should we settle for second best when we should be striving for gold? We each have individual needs that cannot be pigeonholed. Why should we be dictated to by others who have little to no understanding or regard for our respective needs and issues?

If it were them in the same situation they would surely be kicking up a fuss about how unfairly they are treated so why should we sit back and take it? Equity is about understanding ourselves as individuals and respecting what we need to be able to succeed and enjoy every aspect of life to the fullest. We, as a community, should never be lumped into one box for the convenience of others but stand up and gain what we need and deserve in order to strive.

Social anxiety? Never suffer in silence.

The fear of rejection is something that can be really difficult to deal with when you don’t believe in yourself.

Meeting new people, making new friends and finding a partner can be hard when you can’t see the good in yourself.

I’ve never been able to understand what people see in me. Yes I know that I can be a good listener, loyal, kind and caring but I truly fail to see anything else that may be good about myself.

When you deal with such a low self-esteem issue as this it can be hard to accept that people want to know you. It’s like you constantly judge yourself and those around you. It’s like you feel you’re being lied to on a daily basis, never being able to accept that long term friends have actually stuck around.

I’ve never had a romantic relationship in all my 27 years. To some this may sound weird and totally incomprehensible. For me it’s normal. I’ve always just accepted that I’m. not the sort of person that another human being would want in their life romantically.

Again this is related to the fact that I have no self confidence. I simply lack the ability to understand that I could be in any way shape or form good for anyone. This has put me in a catch 22 type situation because despite my desperate want for a romantic partner I’ve never been able to let myself open up quite enough to do so.

People have always been quite shocked whenever I’ve said that I’ve never had a partner as I’m an amazing person but what is it that is so amazing about me because I’ve never been able to see it myself and, apparently nor has anyone else, at least not enough to want to date me.

I always worry that people will judge me in a negative way, think of me as weird or as not good enough. It can and is extremely hard to break that thought process when it’s the only one that you can remember having.

I have never seen myself as beautiful, intelligent, funny, logical or particularly outgoing. I always worry that those aspects hold me back in life.

When you desperately want to fit in but don’t feel like you fit in anywhere social interactions can become somewhat awkward and hard to deal with. This has made me less willing to meet new people and cling hard to those that I do have.

The main aim from this post is that whatever you are dealing with there is someone out there who may have similar feelings to you. You are never alone in the way you feel. Talking about the way you think and feel can be highly cathartic and bring awareness to mental health issues which can lead to better help for yourself and others. Never suffer in silence.